Flashback: Four fibreglass pioneers of the car world


Often derided as “a poor man’s carbon fibre”, fiberglass was critical in the development of the modern sports car. CDN takes a look back to the beginnings of the composites era

In America, leisure boats and sports cars exist, in their modern form, because of one material: fiberglass. An overstatement? Perhaps, but not by much. Bear with us as we recall a little history.

Fiberglass is one of those materials that evolved rather than invented at fixed point in time, like the light bulb or telephone. In the 1930s, glass fibers were increasingly spun into thinner and stronger threads by intense mechanical processes. Large corporations like Owen-Illinois and Corning Glass were looking to somehow weave these fibers into a cloth like cotton or wool, and then looking for a product to create from it.

Project Y

William Stout’s “Project Y” from 1946 – the first fiberglass car

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